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Exclusive: Total makes new oil discovery in Nwoya

The landscape in Nwoya District where Total has found more oil.

The landscape in Nwoya District where Total has found more oil.

Total S.A. has made a new discovery of oil in Nwoya District, according to a senior member of the government, although details remain sketchy and no official announcement has been made.

State Minister for Minerals, Peter Lokeris, revealed the news a week ago in an exclusive interview with Oil in Uganda. “Now that [new] oil has been discovered in Nwoya, the company should improve the infrastructure and create job opportunities,” he said.

Total has declined to comment, referring this publication to the company’s Paris headquarters, which has not responded to email and telephone enquiries.

However, Petroleum Commissioner, Ernest Rubondo, today confirmed the find in a telephone interview.
“They told us that they have encountered shows, and we are waiting for more information,” he said.  The government will make an announcement in due course, he added.

Total, which early last year entered into a trilateral partnership with Tullow Oil and CNOOC to develop Uganda’s oilfields, is the operator of Exploration Area 1. This lies at the northern end of Lake Albert, encompassing Murchison Falls National Park and parts of Buliisa, Nwoya and Nebbi districts.

In addition to carrying out ‘appraisal’ drilling, to make a more accurate assessment of petroleum discoveries that have already been made and decide where to locate productive wells, the French company is sinking five new exploration wells in the area.

In an interview late last year, Total E & P’s General Manager, Loїc Laurandel, told Oil in Uganda that one of the exploration wells is located “a kilometre or so” outside the northern boundary fence of Murchison Falls National Park.  It appears likely that this is the well that has struck lucky.

Nwoya District, formerly administered as part of Amuru, in the Acholi sub-region, was established as a district in its own right in 2010.

Report by BO and NY

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